I got started on working on doing the tasks of 1/2 balanced turn on center. That actually went really good. I realized I had been doing this one alot with Raven and didn't know what it was called. I learned also that to have her cross her front foot in front of the other that I had to step out of her way so I had to remember to step outwards towards the imaginary corner that intersects the drive line and my outside shoulder about 3 feet in front of me. Once I did that she did the movement correctly. Position is so important in horsemanship, being in position on the ground or in the saddle will help the horse move correctly. If I am out of position it will most likely hinder the horses ability to do the movement I am asking for. There must be some spiritual analogy here? Hmm. Anyway, we accomplished that task.
The next task to work on was the Complete balanced turn on center from behind the drive line. This turned out to be harder than I thought. Here it is like asking the horse to move forward as if I was lunging her and moving with her like I was riding her from the ground. But staying in time with her front feet and walking in a circle I have to ask her to cross her outside front foot over in front of her inside front foot adn to do it when she is just picking up her outside foot. I was getting a little messed up here. I could time the feel on the lead line with the foot ok, but I think something about my body position and hold on the lead wouldn't give me enough feel to get her to cross over. Then move out of the way switch sides and keep pushing her shoulder over. I did get it accomplished a couple times, but I still need to work on this one.
We worked on it for about 15 minutes then moved on to the next task which was using my 22' line to ask her to move off just as if I were ground driving her. This is to get her ready to ground drive with two reins. I started her years ago with ground driving, so I thought this would not be much problem. However, it was a bigger issue than I thought. She accepted the rope fine, and by the time we quit this task she was letting me flip it over her and pull her butt towards me. I just need to get more proficient at the use of the rope. So we have to keep working on this one.
One thing I noticed is that all that ground work in a relaxed manner makes her a softer ride in the saddle. I think she picks up on the ease of feel and the relaxed energy. We worked on leg yields, transitions and for about thirty minutes had a great time as far as I was concerned. We were doing balanced turns on center, disengaging and back ups then move shoulders 90-360 degrees. We were doing counter turns where she is shaped one way and moving her shoulders in the other crossing her front feet in front of the other in the direction of the turn. I wished I had more time but all in all it was very productive. It is amazing what can be done in a short amount of time if you just take it slow. In horsemanship slower is almost always faster.
Well time to get on with other things. Until next time, keep your mind in the middle.